Ms. Eloisa James took me for tea and scones at the beginning of the day, and she was kind enough to ask about my book. I’d never tried to pitch my book before, and let’s just say – that fact was obvious. I rambled, I hedged, I wanted to stick a coffee stirrer in my eye. But she listened very patiently and then gave me tips on how to pitch it right. Here’s some of her advice:
If you’re pitching to an editor, know the house’s line and how your book would fit in. In my case, since I have a light, humorous Regency I’m trying to sell to Avon, EJ said I should come out and say, “This is a light, humorous Regency, along the lines of Eloisa James and Julia Quinn’s books.” Okay, so just typing that sentence verges on blasphemy, but really – she said to say it. The reason is, publishing houses follow a pattern. Say a publisher brings out 10 books a month, and 3 are historicals. And of those, one is a darker Regency, and one is a romp, and one is a non-Regency historical. They need to know how the book you’re pitching fits into the pattern.
Don’t be afraid to stereotype your characters. EJ kept trying to pin labels on my h/h. “So he’s a tortured alpha,” … Read More »